Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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State Legislators Meeting on School Wellness Policies

In response to public opinion polls that show that the majority support policies to fight obesity, public officials across the country are trying to use legislation to make improvements in school nutrition. In January, 2007, the Rudd Center convened officials from several northeast states to discuss possible legislative measures. Chair Marlene Schwartz emphasized the importance of relying on science to inform policy decisions. During the meeting, a group of community members identified coalition building as the most important facet of getting legislation passed. The legislators also noted that individuals can influence legislation by personally expressing their concerns to state legislators. Representatives and senators are likely to be responsive to their constituents when individuals contact them directly and express concerns in a clear, straightforward way. This first-of-its-kind meeting offered a useful forum for discussing progressive ideas for nutrition change.